Mexico

An Act of Resistance Will Set You Free

I recently read an article by American journalist, Chris Hedges, which proposed that “societies are held together by a web of social bonds that give individuals a sense of being part of a collective and engaged in a project larger than the self.”  https://riseuptimes.org/2018/12/30/american-anomie-by-chris-hedges/

This simple idea reminded me of the many times friends and family have asked me to describe my “volunteer work” with the refugees in Greece or the Caravan in Mexico. I never have a good answer. I say the people I met were kind and grateful in spite of their physical and emotional challenges. I say they were running from persecution created by the neo-liberal world order and forever wars, that some of them played cards on a blanket under a tree.

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Donde Esta El Pollo? With the Caravan In Tijuana

My (Spanish-speaking, angelic) San Francisco friend, Diane and I are in Tijuana to help support the 7,000 Caravan members who are on the Mexican side of the border waiting for a chance to apply for asylum in the US. Since first meeting up with the Caravan five weeks ago near the Guatemalan border, we observe that some things have changed and some have not. The bad news first….

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The First Half of the Second Caravan Comes to Irapuato

More caminantes arrived in Irapuato on Saturday morning, 1200 of them, mostly Hondurans.  This second group had less than the first. Many arrived in shorts, without jackets or blankets or socks.  Sneezing and coughing, eyes glazed over. One man had bare feet. The temperatures at night have fallen to the low 40s.

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Back with the Caravan in Irapuato

It’s become more difficult to predict the path of the Caravan since it left Mexico City. News reports are unreliable, plans change and there are break-off groups. I went to Irapuato on Saturday after hearing various reports — The migrants were headed there. The migrants were not headed there. The migrants were headed there but only in small numbers.

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Caracol Oventic and the Zapatistas

My stomach churned and my head throbbed as the collectivo wound around the hairpin turns on the jungle road. I didn’t get any relief during the straight stretches, which usually included a series of jarring speed bumps. I tried to focus my thoughts on our destination — Oventik, a Caracol for the Zapatista autonomous region. Say what? Continue reading

Caravan Headed to Veracruz — “Nos Vemos en Estados Unidos!”

After two nights in Juchitan, the Caravan members woke before dawn yesterday to clean up the garbage at their encampment and then headed north at 6am. They had originally planned to take the route to Oaxaca City but at the last minute decided to trek through Veracruz — less mountainous but more dangerous because of the cartel criminals. Some will hop the freight train, also dangerous.

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Solidarity and Humanity in Juchitan de Zaragoza

We arrived yesterday in the town of Juchitan de Zaragoza along the coast in Oaxaca where the Caravan was scheduled to arrive this morning. We had heard about Juchitan, known for its matriarchal social structure and large community of gay and transgender residents. Turns out there is plenty more here that makes this community special.

Mural in Juchitan: “The marvel of learning something is that no one can take it from you.”

Within hours of our arrival, our Airbnb hosts (who, in this remote community, collect fine art and pepper their conversations with references to people like Herodotus) connected us to people in the Zapotec community who had plans to help the people in the Caravan.

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